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They Won’t Have to Think About the Reading

If you want to understand children, spend some time watching them. Through careful observation, we can see what they are “up to.” And when we respond to their initiatives, we engage with them in what they care about, which  communicates to them “I care about you.” That message is always a winner. If you watch children, you will […]

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Wet Books–Take Two. What YOU Can Do.

In last week’s blog I had mentioned that … …the American Library Association (ALA) and its state and local affiliates are additional places to which to turn for guidance on helping damaged libraries as they struggle back to something near prominence in the role they play in people’s lives. In response, Karen Muller, ALA’s director of library and knowledge […]

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Wet Books: A Burden for us ALL to Carry

When I was first a professor I was in a cubicle in the basement of a 200-year-old building of an even older university. Charming, right? In my second year, the university began to build a new library next door. For weeks there were pulses of concentric waves in my water glass, caused by the pounding of […]

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Toys with Pages

My wife and I read to each other when we take trips in the car. We’ve read all of the Harry Potter books and numerous novels. This last weekend, on a trip to Chicago, we read Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul* by Stuart Brown, M.D. This very readable book […]

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Books, Models and Opportunities

To become strong lifelong readers, kids need to read every day. If kids aren’t reading daily, there are three simple things to fix that: Books. Opportunities. Models. Children need books that touch their hearts, because kids eagerly read books they love, with characters or content they can personally relate to. That might sound simple, but […]

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Unquestionably CORRECT, Inarguably UNIQUE

There’s a new book out for mathematics teachers called What’s Right About Wrong Answers. Being a literacy person, and without yet reading this book (I know!), I immediately loved that title. The complementary roles of cautious accuracy and freewheeling exploration should be bound up in everything adults work to help children learn. That is certainly the […]

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It REALLY Matters

Reading. Each week I write for parents, teachers and teacher educators about the very basics of reading. I address the ultimate reason why as a culture we should spend so much time, energy, and money on it. Sadly, the ultimate goal I refer to is rarely uttered in school board meetings. It is seldom discussed by teachers, and […]

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Lifelong Library

It’s time we stop worrying about yearly achievement scores and start worrying about our children’s futures in fuller ways. Achievement defined by the popular Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is “to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life,…”* …and life? Hmmm. […]

Like Father Like Son --- Image by © Randy Faris/Corbis

Permit Me to Demonstrate

Ongoing demonstrations are how almost everything in a culture is efficiently passed along to succeeding generations. So it follows suit that learning to read is based upon “observable demonstrations,” actions that those of us who can read, must do for those who are new to reading. Plus, learning to read is largely a social activity.  Additionally, for new readers to […]